I'm Social Media Addict And I Quit For A Month

A few months ago, I was completely overwhelmed. My brain felt like it was on overdrive and I was having difficulty processing tasks and information. There were just too many inputs bombarding my brain. Too many meetings and events. Too many emails. Too many articles. Too many apps. Too many social media feeds. I couldn’t keep up and stay focused. I had reached a tipping point. Something needed to change. I knew I badly needed to reduce clutter and distractions from my daily routine. Several days after this realization, I began to track how I spent my time and paid close attention to those activities which caused stress and anxiety.

A week into this exercise, a number of things became abundantly clear. I was spending at least two to three hours a day on social media. Anytime I had a free moment, I’d reach for my phone to engage on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I’d often feel guilty because this time rarely felt productive and fulfilling. I also realized that more time in social media led to more digital clutter (articles to read, people to engage, companies to track). There was always a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) gnawing at me so I was constantly checking my feeds throughout the day. It also occurred to me these apps took me out of the present moment. I’d constantly be thinking about my next post, stopping to capture that perfect picture, or ignoring whoever I was with. Worst of all, I realized social media was a vehicle to feed my ego, escape reality and flood my brain with quick bursts of dopamine.

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Nuke Your Twitter Feed In The New Year

One of my 2014 goals is to remove clutter in life and focus on quality. This doesn’t just include physical items like clothing and other random “stuff” but also digital things like the number of apps on my phone or the blogs I actively follow. 

A few weeks ago I realized my Twitter feed was becoming unbearable.  Since 2007 I had followed more than 4,000 individuals, startups, established brands, parody accounts, celebrities and media companies.  The signal to noise ratio had pretty much hit zero. I couldn’t keep up. 

I finally decided to search for a solution that would help me quickly unfollow everyone so I could rebuild my follower list from scratch. The rationale was simple: start over and carefully curate the accounts I follow so my feed would become relevant once again. After all, Twitter is only as good as the people you follow. 

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The Guide to NYC Tech 2.0

At Lerer Ventures I created the first version of The Guide to NYC Tech after dozens of people asked me the same dozen questions, over and over. What are the best co-working spaces? Which lawyer should I hire? Where are good places to take a meeting? Who are the key investors to know? How do I find out about cool events?  

As much as I enjoy helping people one-on-one, I find it far more satisfying when I’m able to develop and share a resource that can be enjoyed by all New Yorkers and those in other tech communities interested in our ecosystem.  

Eighteen months after publishing V1, and just four months into my role at RRE Ventures, I’m pleased to present The Guide to NYC Tech 2.0.  Yes, it’s a guide to NYC Tech; and yes, it’s a bit of a love letter as well. But, I’ll say this: NYC is better poised now than ever before to make a global impact through entrepreneurship and innovation.

The goal of this guide is to raise awareness of the NYC tech ecosystem and help newcomers (and veterans) navigate the ever changing landscape.  Additionally, I hope it inspires everyone to give back to their own tech communities on a weekly basis. 

Finally, feedback is greatly appreciated so feel free to email me at schlaf55@gmail.com and I’ll try my best to incorporate your suggestions.